going solar at home?

We’ve been in our house since 2008, and it seems like we ask ourselves the same question every year: what do you think about getting solar? In the beginning, we thought it would only be a couple of years before we added it to our house. Then, that whole housing bubble burst and we saw the home we purchased as a foreclosure dip down in price and the whole neighborhood along with it, and costly additions were the last thing we were thinking about. But then we had Miss L. And, as other parents know, your desire to keep the house climate at an optimal temperature suddenly increases exponentially, and you usually start using a lot more energy as a result. For us, it meant our energy bill doubling in the summer… which wasn’t a pretty sight.

So we thought, “Hmm…. maybe we should look into that solar stuff again?” But when we did, the initial expense of capitol wasn’t attractive and the 0% down plans didn’t save us any money on our monthly bill. So, we kept on keeping on with the status quo through this year.

Yet, after 2014 being the hottest year on record for California and trying to keep our a/c use as minimal as possible, this question popped up yet again. So this time, I did something about it. I contacted Sunrun.

But this time around, instead of just dismissing the option outright due to cost, we’re actually considering solar as a legitimate choice for our household.

I filled in our information online, then scheduled a chat with a Sunrun representative to walk me through the pricing options of Sunrun solar service and see what we could do. First, she shared a general diagram of what solar panels would look like on our home. I guess we’re pretty lucky that we have lots of sunny surface area!


Then we walked through the per-month cost of a Power Purchase Agreement with Sunrun, and what that looked like in comparison to our monthly PG&E bills. And for the first time ever, that bill actually came in lower than our current averaged electricity payment… actually 25% lower!

The solar panel system wouldn’t cover all of our needs in the hot summer months, however, with this plan, we’d never get past Tier 1 in energy costs, which is the cheapest tier to be in. (p.s. we hit Tier 3 by the 12th of every month… it’s not fun!)



Now what about those costs right now? Well… with the solar lease that we talked about, we spend nothing out of pocket. Over 20 years, our expenditures for the system are essentially 160% of the cost of the system today. BUT, when I compared that to what you’d pay on a loan, you’d have to have less than 1.9% financing on a 20-year loan to beat that cost.

See… now this is getting complicated, because it’s at the, “Why wouldn’t you do this?” point. Right?  Ugh… why can’t I just make decisions!


I asked about the roofing guarantee. Sunrun’s policy is a 10 year warranty on the roof. And 20-year replacement on the panels and equipment. Ok… well there’s that. Guess that’s pretty awesome too.


So here I am. It’s cheaper than our monthly electricity bill NOW, let alone later when those inevitable rate hikes occur. It’s good for the environment now too. And the financial risk is minimal to us, and it’s actually saving us about $500 in the first year along. So why are we not signed up yet?

Well, ask Mr. M and he knows how I go into a panic-induced sweat whenever there’s a purchase exceeding $500, and then maybe you’ll understand. So can anyone help me out?  Are you insanely happy you went with solar? Does your energy company send YOU a check every month? You became the coolest family on the block? Anything?

So while I look through your comments and hope that I can get back to my Sunrun representative with an answer either way, I wanted to share a special a special offer for KimberlyMichelle.com readers. If you go solar with Sunrun before Nov. 30, you’ll get a $500 VISA® Prepaid Card. (Conditions apply.) Get a free solar quote here.

Maybe we can all save the planet and our wallet some money? Or I could just end up writing a post about this exact same thing next year as I continue to ponder my hours away…

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.